Tinder Press has bought world rights to a literary historical debut by a London writer, Sarah Day, called Mussolini's Island.
The novel's backdrop is a true story where, in 1939, 45 gay men from Catania, Sicily were labelled "a sexual aberration", expelled from their homes and exiled to the island of San Domino. From this starting point, Day weaves a love story, with elements of politics and crime, around three of the men, and a young village woman who yearns for freedom.
Imogen Taylor, publishing director at Tinder Press, did the deal with Juliet Mushens at UTA.
Taylor said: "I am thrilled to have bought this novel which tells of a little known chapter in Italy’s history: it’s beautifully written, intelligent and incredibly moving."
Day works as an Earth science communicator at the Geological Society of London. Previously she was shortlisted in the London Fringe Festival short story competition.
She said: "Since first reading about San Domino's prisoners, I have felt strongly that their story should be better known. It has been fascinating and challenging to research this novel, and I am thrilled it's found such an enthusiastic home."
Tinder Press was launched as Headline’s literary imprint in 2013. It plans to publish Day's debut in hardback in Spring 2017.